Hospital for Special Surgery named 'Equality Leader': How leadership, tech & policy play a role

Practice Management

A system widely known for excellence in orthopedics, New York City-based Hospital for Special Surgery received the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's "LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader" designation.

The designation recognizes healthcare facilities that participate in the Healthcare Equality Index survey and receive a perfect score. They are evaluated on LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practice in four areas: nondiscrimination policies and staff training; patient services and support; employee benefits and policies; and patient and community engagement.

Four ways HSS has worked to achieve the highest quality care for LGBTQ+ patients and their families:

1. Policies. Patient and employee non-discrimination policies specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. HSS also has an LGBTQ+-inclusive visitation policy.

2. Leadership. HSS established a hospitalwide LGBTQ+ Committee dedicated to creating and implementing educational interventions, guidelines and policies, as well as ensuring a respectful working environment within HSS. With executive sponsorship from Susan Flics, HSS vice president of operations, the committee is led by Jillian Rose, PhD, director of community engagement, diversity and research.

3. Technology. In recent years, HSS has "deepened its commitment to integrating preferred name, pronouns, gender identity and sexual orientation data collection into the EMR," according to Dr. Rose.

4. Training. HSS mandates LGBTQ+ sensitivity training every year as part of staff development modules. Clinical and nonclinical staff also receive additional department-specific training. More than 700 staff members were trained in person last year on LGBTQ+ health disparities, federal and state regulations, system policies and best practices.

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